Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Holiday Flashback: My Holiday Trip to Hawaii -- Part 1: Seattle.

Happy Hump Day! I hope everyone up north is slowly starting to dig themselves out from the crazy blizzard weather. Have an extra cup of hot cocoa for me please :)

You know, I can't believe its only been three weeks since I was in the warm Kona sun with my family, sipping lilikoi juice and eating pineapple, ah! If I can close my eyes and concentrate, I can still hear the ocean waves, crashing against the shore...

Let's go back to paradise today, okay?

Before December, I had never been to Hawaii, let alone Kona, or anywhere on the big island. I never really realized just how FAR away Hawaii was. So far, in fact, that I had an amazing afternoon layover in Seattle, WA, which was a total treat.

I'd never been to Seattle before, either, so I decided that instead of spending the day inside the airport terminal, I should hop on the lightrail and head into the city to see something -- anything -- to say I had actually been to more than the airport there.


After asking for suggestions on what to do with six hours in Seattle, I decided to head to Pike's Place Market, which was the perfect activity.


Between hitting up the original Starbucks...


... finding amazing flowers ...


... making friends with a seagull...


.... and just enjoying the local flavor, it's safe to say I enjoyed my time there.



Now, I just want to go back!


Monday, January 26, 2015

That Time I Shot an Event at Hierarchy DC for Grip The Mat

Happy Monday! I hope you're having a fabulous & warm start to your week, especially if you're in the Northeast area (stay save in this crazy blizzard weather!).

I'm coming off quite a high from last week's craziness. Not only did I have a bunch of my stories for the USO publish, but I hosted my first-ever booth for Fiterazzi at a Grip the Mat Bendy Brunch event -- but more about those things in later posts.

First, I want to take you back in time. Back before New Years toasts and Christmas morning hugs to those sweet weeks of anticipation before December 25th...


Before I headed off on my amazing tropical Christmas vacation, I had the privilege of shooting another yoga event for Grip The Mat. 


One of the duo's signature events is called Vinyasa to Vino, which is essentially a combined happy hour and yoga class.


I believe they've hosted all of these at Hierarchy DC (where I was at), which is a hip little art gallery in Adams Morgan.


While the space was tight and the lights were few and dim, I managed to capture some really nice moments and even got to whip out my new Canon 7d (woop!) for its inaugural run.


I know it's not a Mark III, but hey, I'm progressing as fast as my bank account will allow me.


I'll admit, I don't have shooting a yoga event down pat. I'm still learning which poses and angles are fabulous in pictures and which ones are super awakard for both the shooter and the shootee. I'm pretty confident I'll get there though.


In the meantime, I'll keep snapping pics and you, my friends, will give me all the feedback in the world.

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Last Minute Chicago Trip for the USO

At the tail end of December, literally days before I headed off for my family's epic vacation to Hawaii (I'll get to that later) I headed off to Chicago for a last minute USO trip.

See, at USO Great Lakes, which is located at the naval base right outside of Chicago, they host monthly (actually, sorta weekly-ish) "No Dough Dinners" for troops and their families.

The idea behind these dinners is to provide a free meal to troops and their loved ones right before payday when the cash might not be flowing. Pretty cool, huh?

The particular No Dough Dinner I was in town for was a pancake dinner -- how fun! Let me tell you, conducting interviews, shooting b-roll and doing my job with the smell of bacon wafting through the error was a slow form of wonderful torture -- who can focus with bacon in the air? (Don't worry, I got some bacon at the end of the shoot.)

Here's a look at my photos from the event:


I think before I went on this shoot and talked to the wonderful staff, volunteers and patron troops USO Great Lakes, I didn't understand just how important these dinners were for everyone involved. For the troops, its a change to mix and mingle and get a quality meal in that takes different from the mess hall's grub. For volunteers and staff members, its a change to bond with troops and show the outside community the importance and impact of the USO on the surrounding community.

I just love being able to capture and share the importance of such a simple, yet important program, to the outside world.

Without further adieu, here's my video from my trip:


New Year, Same Fabulous Blog: Why I Haven't Been Posting & More

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a restful holiday season and ate plenty of chocolate-filled goodies :)

The past few months have been a total blur for me -- which is probably the reason why I haven't posted in so long. Over a month without a single update, yikes!

Don't worry -- if you look at my other media outlets, I haven't been as active either, so don't be too offended.

See, aside from dealing with work & gig craziness, spending the holidays with my family in Hawaii and getting my feet wet at my new side gig as Fiterazzi's assistant editor (read: BUSY), I thought it was very important that I take a bit of a social media break during the months of December and January.

I love social media. I love photography. But I, like all people, need to take the occasional forced digital haitus for the sake of mental sanity to avoid burning out. Honestly, nothing is more refreshing than just... tuning out of the digital world for a few weeks to recharge, which is exactly WHY I did just that!

All that being said, I'm refreshed, re-energized and ready to take on the year with full gusto! I hope you are too!

In the coming weeks, look for posts about what I've been up to the past month and a half, as well as some of my fabulous vacation shots.

Take care!